The World Health Organization (WHO) approved for emergency use a COVID-19 vaccine from China’s state-owned drug-maker Sinopharm, bolstering Beijing’s push for a bigger role in inoculating the world.
The vaccine, one of two main Chinese coronavirus vaccines that have been given to hundreds of millions of people in China and elsewhere, is the first developed by a non-Western country to win WHO backing. It is also the first time the WHO has given emergency use approval to a Chinese vaccine for any infectious disease. Its easy storage requirements make it highly suitable for low-resource settings,” a WHO statement said.
This allows it to be included in COVAX, a global programme to provide vaccines mainly for poor countries, which has hit supply problems. read more
“This expands the list of COVID-19 vaccines that COVAX can buy, and gives countries confidence to expedite their own regulatory approval, and to import and administer a vaccine,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a briefing.
The WHO had already given emergency approval to COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and, last week, Moderna.